"There are, in the end, only two ways to read the Bible: Is it basically about me or basically about Jesus? In other words, is it basically about what I must do or basically about what he has done?" Timothy Keller, Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism. New York: Viking, 2015, page 60.
Job is a tricky book to use. The book is a debate among Job and some friends over how to understand suffering and what God is doing in the midst of that suffering. We should not assume that everything that Job or the others say is correct. The only one who speaks infallibly in the … Continue reading Bible Note #35: Compassion for the Weak — Job 29:14-17
"As you contemplate the cross of Christ, you should be overwhelmed with the oceans of grace you have received from the Lord. Even when others commit pools or even lakes full of sin against you, you should be gracious to them because of those oceans of grace you have received. 'Be kind to them,' Jesus … Continue reading Quote of Note #50: Graciousness to Others Because of God’s Graciousness to Me
This event – the reconciliation of Esau and Jacob – has long captured my imagination. The rupturing of their relationship was overflowing with emotion. So, it should be no surprise that the reconciliation here is also full of emotion. There is also a large measure of raw, burly physicality in the reconciliation of these two … Continue reading Bible Note #33: The Hairy Arms of Esau and the Embrace of God’s Grace — Genesis 33
“[F]or the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.” Proverbs 24:16 [ESV] I’ve been coming back to this verse a lot in the past couple of weeks. It’s helped me a lot in thinking about grace, sanctification, and the life of following Jesus. To fallen people living in … Continue reading Bible Note #32: Righteousness, Perseverance, and God’s Grace — Proverbs 24:16
A few days ago, I received a message on Facebook from an acquaintance of mine. He had sent the message to a bunch of people. In my opinion, it was quite a politically inflammatory message. Accompanying the statement was the challenge, “If you don’t share this message on Facebook, you aren’t a true America.” This … Continue reading Pastor Note #80: Conversation with an Angry World
"If you are one who just cannot seem to forgive, let me ask you a few questions which might give you another perspective. Have you received the forgiveness that God offers through a relationship with Jesus? Have you personally experienced God's forgiveness of your sins? If you haven't, then there is some credibility to the … Continue reading Quote of Note #36: Being Forgiven and Being Forgiving
Proverbs 21:12-13 [NET] The Righteous One considers the house of the wicked; he overthrows the wicked to their ruin. The one who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and will not be answered. It runs counter, I think, to our stereotypical understanding of the book of Proverbs … Continue reading Bible Note #23: Blessing without Regard to Deserving & the Gracious Heart of God
“Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” Proverbs 14:31 [NIV] We have here an antithetical parallelism. The two halves of the couplet contrast with each other, and in that way the writer shows us one key truth by showing us both sides of the … Continue reading Bible Note #21: Proverbs 14:31–The Heart of God and the Poor
"Joy and resentment cannot coexist." Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming. New York:Image/Doubleday, 1992, page 73.